A READING initiative involving more than 1,000 Inverclyde children annually is going online for the first time.
The Summer Reading Challenge, run by national charity The Reading Agency and delivered locally by Inverclyde Libraries, usually sees young people taking part via their nearest library but will be done via the internet this year because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
It launches on Friday (5 June) and is fully interactive.
The theme for 2020 is ‘silly stories’, focusing on funny books, happiness and having a laugh, accompanied by new mascots, the Silly Squad animal friends, created by award-winning author and illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson.
Last year, around 1,100 local youngsters took part in the challenge, which has been brought forward this year to support children who are currently at home and unable to attend school or the library.
Registration is open online at www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk.
For those who have limited or no internet access, the council’s libraries service has produced summer reading bags, in partnership with charity Barnardo’s and the Scottish Attainment Challenge, which will be delivered to young people and families who are digitally excluded but would still like to take part.
Provost Martin Brennan said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is always so well received.
“It’s great that our libraries service has been able to move it online to ensure our young people don’t miss out because it’s such an important way to promote reading, improve literacy and stimulate imaginations.
“The reading challenge is even more crucial this year, not just for the learning benefits, but as a way for youngsters to keep occupied and engaged whilst being away from school and having to stay at home because of lockdown.
“I encourage as many of our young people as possible to sign up, take part and, most importantly, have fun.”
Inverclyde Libraries will also be enabling families to join in with ‘Silly Summer Stories’, ‘Crafternoon Inspiration’ and live Bookbug sessions every week via its Facebook page.
Children will be able to ‘borrow’ a host of new e-books and audio books, which have been added to the Borrowbox online library to help them complete the challenge.
Anyone who is not already a member of Borrowbox can sign up online.
To find out more visit www.inverclyde.gov.uk/libraries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Inverclyde Libraries Twitter and Facebook pages, where there are also regular updates and fun activities.